Merit Badge Counselor Training

The merit badge counselor is a key player in the Scouts BSA advancement program. As a merit badge counselor, your mission is to join fun with learning.

You are both a teacher and mentor as the Scout works on a merit badge and learns by doing. Your hands-on involvement could inspire a Scout to develop a lifelong hobby, pursue a particular career, or become an independent, self-supporting adult.

Imagine a School graphic
  • that offers dozens of courses in topics ranging from American business and animal science to welding and robotics.
  • where the instructors—mentors, really—are experts in their fields who work one-on-one with students to help them complete their course requirements.
  • where each course costs less than $7, including a textbook and a completion certificate.
  • that may be outdoors, at a camp, at a pool, or even at a work bench. Such a school might sound imaginary, but it actually exists.
  • where about 85% of the topics have at least 1 science requirement

This “school,” the Scouts BSA merit badge program, has awarded more than 113 million badges since 1910.

Within the context of Scouting, the merit badge program does two things:

  • ensures that Scouts who earn the Eagle Scout Award—Scouting’s highest rank—have developed core competencies in such areas as camping, citizenship, environmental science, first aid, and personal fitness.
  • encourages every Scout to explore topics he may know nothing about. A plumber’s son might earn the medicine merit badge, while a doctor’s son might earn a badge in plumbing.
In many cases, a merit badge represents a Scout’s only foray into a subject he finds unappealing. But often times, a badge signals a Scout’s first introduction to a rewarding career or lifelong avocation. Most importantly, each badge encourages a Scout to test his limits, broaden his horizons, and learn how to learn. And that might be the most important course of all.

Call it LIFE 101.

To Become a Merit Badge Counselor

Talk to your unit leaders for more information and see this page (then scroll to lower-right corner).


An individual may be a counselor for any number of Merit Badges, as long as he/she is qualified for each subject. Trained Merit Badge counselors can choose to make themselves available to Scouts in their district and neighboring districts within the Council or may limit themselves to a single unit.


In addition to the required forms, you must take Merit Badge Counselor Orientation (see below) and Youth Protection Training.


Stanford District – not currently being held

Redwood DistrictEmail Pam Fosnes to schedule a virtual training.

Discovery District – not currently being held